Definition: Ad Agency

What is an Ad Agency?

An Ad Agency is a company that handles other companies marketing work, including negotiating with Ad Networks and allocating marketing budgets.

Ad Agency is a broad term so Ad Agencies don’t all do the same thing, but in general, they can create, plan and handle all marketing opportunities across a variety of marketing channels.

This is often both convenient and cost-effective as Ad Agencies will not only save on overheads of employing staff but will also often be able to negotiate lower prices than individual companies when buying ad space. This is because their overall budgets (across clients) are much bigger, so they have a lot more bargaining power.

Many companies will start off having their own in-house marketing team when they are small, then branch out to an Ad Agency when they are larger, and then when they are massive have an in-house marketing team to manage their ad agencies.

It should be noted that when dealing with Ad Agencies it is important to review their performance independently, as they literally employ people who are professionals at convincing people that what they say is true (marketers!). Always keep in mind what your goal is, and check their performance against that target.


Other names for Ad Agency (synonyms)

Advertising Agency, Marketing Agency, Creative Agency (just does design work)


It’s the opposite of (antonyms)

In-House Marketing Team (sort-of)


Not to be confused with

Ad Network

Glossary Index